“Motownphilly’s back again!” the Grammy Award–winning Boyz II Men crooned to a devoted crowd of fans who packed the Rotunda at Mall of America just a few weeks ago—the first of many surprises leading up to our 25th birthday this August. And the best part? It was just another Saturday night at the Mall, where hundreds of musicians have taken the stage for free performances through the years.
From folk legends Peter, Paul and Mary in 1993, to Becky G, star of the upcoming Saban’s Power Rangers, there have been so many unforgettable concerts. Many of these performances have helped launch multi-platinum music careers. Boy bands, pop stars, hard rock heroes, country royalty—with so many types of artists performing at MOA throughout the years, it’s impossible to name one favorite. But here are 25 of our favorite performances from the past 25 years.
25. Laura Marano | 2016
You may have recognized the Disney star from the hit show “Austin & Ally.” She’s got quite the voice, too!
24. Tori Kelly | 2015
Talk about a deal! Tori Kelly gave a free Black Friday performance at the Mall that same year she won the Billboard Women in Music Breakthrough Artist award.
23. Rachel Platten | 2015
The “Fight Song” maven brought the house down during her performance for Pepsi’s Out of the Blue Summer series.
22. Shawn Mendes | 2015
Shawn Mendes appeared at Mall of America in April 2015. The next month, his song “Stitches” started its run of 52 weeks on the Billboard Hot 100.
21. Ingrid Michaelson | 2014
Michaelson added a free Mall of America concert to her stop in the Twin Cities after selling out First Avenue.
20. Austin Mahone | 2013
Fans lined up a full 24 hours before this teen idol’s appearance.
19. Big Time Rush | 2011
Big Time Rush has graced fans with multiple appearances at Mall of America, but their 2011 performance, which drew nearly 9,000 adoring fans, was certainly one to remember.
18. New Kids on the Block | 2008
This show was clearly a hit for “Blockheads”—the biggest fans of New Kids on the Block.
17. Rascal Flatts | 2007
An estimated 10,000 fans attended their concert at Mall of America!
16. Taylor Swift | 2007
A year after her debut album, she helped Mall of America celebrate the holidays by putting her very own spin on the song, “Santa Baby.”
15. The Jonas Brothers | 2007
Fans were burnin’ up for this pop trio during the height of their success.
14. Kenny Chesney | 2003
On tour for his No Shoes, No Shirt, No Problem album, he drew approximately 15,000 fans to his show at the Mall—one of the largest crowds ever!
13. Mariah Carey | 2002
Leave it to the pop diva to draw The Today Show to televise her Mall performance, plus an interview with Matt Lauer.
12. Martina McBride | 2001
Martina McBride dazzled fans with songs from her newly released Greatest Hits album.
11. P!nk | 2000
P!nk stopped by to promote her debut album, Can’t Take Me Home.
10. 98 Degrees | 2000
Nick Lachey and the gang signed more than 500 autographs for adoring fans.
9. Christina Aguilera | 1999
Christina Aguilera performed the song that would go on to be the best-selling single of 1999. You may have heard it—”Genie in a Bottle.”
8. Def Leppard | 1999
Who says you can’t have a true rock show in a mall? Def Leppard shredded on stage.
7. ‘NSync | 1999
Fans were sad to say “Bye, Bye, Bye” after this performance in the Rotunda.
6. Trisha Yearwood | 1998
The American Girl performed her hits at the premiere American mall.
5. Kenny G | 1997
Kenny G wooed the crowd with his silky saxophone vibes.
4. Hanson | 1997
The “Mmmbop” brothers performed at the event Jam Against Hunger, along with Huey Lewis.
3. The Beach Boys | 1994
The Beach Boys brought the surf to Minnesota when they performed to support the Jam Against Hunger.
2. Peter, Paul and Mary | 1993
During our first birthday, it was fitting that Peter, Paul and Mary, famed folk children’s musicians, would perform for our party.
1. Ray Charles | 1992
Charles rang in a new era with a performance of “America the Beautiful” at a private gala the night before the mall opened its doors.
Do you have a favorite musical performance at Mall of America? Let us know who rocked your world—or share pics from the memorable day—using #MOAturns25 on social media.